Friday, 21 January 2011


There are a couple of things I have to rage about right now. I don't know whether I am right to rage about them, but I want to. And this seems like quite a good place to have a shout. And perhaps open a debate. And for me to learn from others.

So, rage number one. There's been in the news again the issue of Bankers and City bonuses. Now, don't get me wrong, the numbers being kicked around are enormous. Life changing for most of us if we were to receive that sort of money. And life changing if a charity were to receive those sorts of amounts of money.

Now, I also have to come clean. I work in the City of London. And I'm paid a good salary. A very good salary in comparison to many. I also receive a bonus. My bonus is not, however anywhere near the amounts being given to bankers.

I am not condoning the amounts these people are allegedly being paid. No. They are obscene amounts. I understand the 'business need' in paying these. There is of course the usual argument that these are the 'norm' and if bank XYZ doesn't pay them, then the good employees will go to bank ABC for more. And companies will work out ways of paying these obscene amounts.

And as for the banks that were bailed out by the government (aka the UK Taxpayer); well there has to be responsibility and recognition that they would have gone bust had the government not bailed them out and those who would ordinarily received a bonus need to consider that if the bank had gone bust they would, I reckon, have received diddly squat.

But. Here's my rant. Not so long ago there was all the press around Wayne Rooney. There was lots of speculation in the press but the figure being touted around was that he was able to negotiate a new contact worth £200,000 a week. That amounts to just a little over £10million. No doubting that he has skill. But what he does for that money is kick a ball around a bit of grass for 90 minutes. I won't mention the swearing, being a role model for lots of children etc etc...but in the cold light of day that's what he does.

Where is the questioning of what footballers earn? Or anyone for that matter earning that sort of money. It is just not right that we seem to pick on one industry of people that are paid £x amount because we think it's wrong; I am sure that there are plenty of footballers (a team game, of course) who's team is relegated and they either move to another team or don't have their wages reduced. And there are, I am sure, plenty of actors who 'demand' or who are paid millions of pounds per film. Likewise for pop stars.

My second rant, and this will be brief. This week has seen the 'launch' I think of the housing development that is One Hyde Park. One bedroom flats start at £6.5m and rise to over £100m. There is no other way for this development to be described but as obscene. When developers build and sell property at this level there should be an obligation, a law, to force them to invest in housing for the homeless and the poor; to put something back into the community as opposed to just wads of cash into their back pockets.

I don't care about whether Prince Charles doesn't like the architecture. Prince Charles should be speaking out about the obscene nature of the development in sociological terms. I can well imagine that only a stone's throw from the (well guarded) front doors of this development one would be able to find someone homeless. Where's the justice in today's society for this? It is just wrong on so many levels.

I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I like earning what I earn and I like spending. I do try to give back. And that's a work in progress. But I get angry at some of the obscene levels of wealth and the fact that the press 'decide' who is a target for abuse and who isn't.

Personally, I don't think any of these sums of money are right. It is wrong. So so wrong that we have homeless, destitute, poor, people living below the poverty line. We live in a country where there are areas of deprivation and we are paying people sums that could do so much to improve other people's lives. All I hope and pray is that those who receive such sums think about what a difference they can make and do so.

1 comment:

  1. The older I get the more communist I get (in simplistic economic terms!) I'm fed up of hearing that people have a " right" to this or that because of their taxes or their money or whatever it might be, and the inequalities get greater and seem to be acceptable!! The other thing that has been exercising my mind is housing, and how many people live in houses far too big for their "needs" while others have no where. How many couples rattle round in huge family houses, perhaps post retirement. I know this is on my mind because we're leaving our house, and I know we won't return to it -when we'd be able to ( ie in 25/30 years)why would we want or need a 4 bed house when someone else could use it?! Accommodation is such a resource, but like so many things we've got used to a higher level of "want" than our needs indicate. I will be forever grateful to my parents for using up every spare inch of our family home, taking in lodgers, waifs & strays, packing the dinner table, eeking out the food to feed another mouth. That has taught me SO much.
    Oops hijacked your rant there my friend!! Perhaps I should just have blogged myself ;)